Asus Eee Pad Slider Honeycomb Tablet Review

Article Index

Summary and Conclusion

Performance Summary: From a pure performance standpoint, the Eee Pad Slider is up there with the best of the current 10" Android-based slates. Given the hardware similarities to the Eee Pad Transformer, we aren't surprised to see it hit so many similar marks. We also applaud Asus for leaving well enough alone with the stock Android 3.2 build, and we firmly believe that the general lack of bloatware contributed to the Slider's strong performance loading applications, browsing the Web and inputting text via the keyboard. Touch performance is buttery smooth, and even with multiple tabs open, the browser never felt laggy. Playback of HD video was seamless, and battery life didn't seem to suffer at all. NVIDIA's Tegra 2 has proven to be a winner once more in the tablet space, even with a keyboard flanked on the bottom.
Far too often, companies prefer to be iterative followers rather than leaders. Chalk it up to not wanting to take financial risks, or perhaps it's just easier to watch what works and attempt to replicate. But we have to give credit where it's due; the Eee Pad Slider is a different beast entirely in the slate market, and it's executed (nearly) to perfection. The slide-out keyboard is beautiful to look at, and the hinge mechanism functions flawlessly. The downsides? It's tough to actually open and slide the screen back, and there's no trackpad, ball or mousing apparatus at all on the keyboard to aid in cursor control. Perhaps we're spoiled by some touchpad-equipped alternatives, but it's sometimes a little cumbersome to have to move your hands from the keyboard to the touchpanel when you're simply looking to click an icon or relocate a cursor.  It's a operational requirement that's easily learned though.

If that's no bother in your mind, you'll probably enjoy having the keyboard on board -- if you're willing to suffer through a learning curve. The key layout is a bit strange, but understandable given the space constraints. The IPS display is one of the most beautiful ones we've seen in the mobile arena, and those who plan on enjoying multimedia will have plenty of gorgeous pixels to look at. The only display downside is a bit of light leakage from both the top and bottom of the panel; it's not noticeable with lighter backdrops, but darker wallpapers can't hide it.

Overall, the Eee Pad Slider is a strong tablet for a specific subset of the market. Those who won't routinely use the keyboard are certainly better off with a normal slate, or perhaps even the Transformer, which allows you to bring along the keyboard only when you're planning to take advantage of it. If there were a built-in trackpad or trackpoint-type device here, we would have no hesitation in recommending the Slider as a netbook alternative with outstanding battery life (well over eight hours with the display on). Finally, while the mini-HDMI port and full-size USB ports are welcome inclusions, this tablet is targeted at users that have more demanding requirements and specifically want a more convertible, keyboard-equipped device, rather than a traditional slate. It's beautiful, bold and very well equipped, but it isn't for everyone.

  • Beautiful design
  • Great battery life
  • Good graphics performance
  • Android 3.2
  • Great key travel / feel
  • No trackpad
  • Glossy display is really glossy
  • Oversized bezel
  • Not enough tablet apps in Android Market... still

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